Clean scents, polished floors, spotless window glass, and scrubbed decks – here we come.
Before jumping in gather tools, cleaning supplies, buckets, trash bags, boxes, and a few friends to help out. Wear something old so good clothes won’t get stained, or bleached.
Decide how much time it will take to clean based on the size of your home and how many family members will pitch in.
A week before you plan to start your spring cleaning marathon, review what supplies you have on hand.
Do you have:
- Ammonia for wiping away grease
- Foaming cleaners for bathtubs
- Squeegees to make quick work of window washing
- Buckets for mixing concentrated cleaners
- Cleaners made for washing cars and trucks
- Oven cleaner
- Floor cleaners for wood and linoleum
- Stiff-bristled large brooms to sweep away winter dirt
- Angled soft-bristle brooms for indoor use
- Sponges and scrubbing brushes for general use
- Lambswool and ostrich feather dusters to clean in hard-to-reach places
- Laundry detergent booster
- Static free cleaner for electronics
- Oil soaps for wood cabinets
- Cleaners formulated for artificial plants
- Oxygenizing cleaner to remove spots and stains without bleaching fabrics, upholstery or carpets
- Other brushes for specific uses: toilet bowl brush, refrigerator coil brush
- Ladder for reading ceiling fans, tall bookcases and to wash windows
Purchase versatile concentrated cleaners when possible. Benefits include being able to dilute cleaner to different strengths depending on the cleaning job involved. They also cost less per use and require less packing making them environmentally-friendly.
Brushes and brooms that are made for a specific purpose make the job easier. Toilet bowl brushes scrub under the rim with less effort. Cleaning refrigerator coils is as easy as an afterthought when you use a soft brush made for just that job.
A lamb’s wool duster with extended pole makes it easy to sweep walls and ceilings for cobwebs and dust. The static in the wool works like a magnet to attract dust with little effort on your part. Rags, sponges, gloves that protect your hands from the effects of cleaners, mops, and brooms can be stored in one place until you need them. A small laundry basket or extra bucket can be used to carry supplies from room to room. Create one bucket of supplies for bedrooms, living rooms, dining areas, and one bucket of supplies for bathrooms and the kitchen.
Don’t forget cleaning supplies for outdoor decks, window washing and the car. A ladder (and someone to hold it steady) is required for window washing. A soft chamois and cleaner specifically formulated for washing cars makes the finish cleaner and shinier.
Make washing windows easier by purchasing two sizes of squeegees – a small one for multi-paned windows and a large one for sliding glass doors. Use the squeegee to dry the window for the quickest, streak-free finish.
Take it from the Top to the Bottom
Clean one room at a time from top to bottom before moving on. Decide whether curtains and rugs go to the cleaners or get tossed in the washer with a laundry booster.
Always start at the top. Sweep for cobwebs and wash ceilings and light fixtures first with a lambswool duster. Light fixtures that are dirty or greasy, as they are likely to be if located near the stove, need to be removed and washed in warm soapy water.
Move down the walls, dusting pictures and decorations. The rest of the room can be best tackled by starting at the door and moving around the room. Pick up objects, dust, clean, remove spots, vacuum.
Bring a box and a bag into the room. Your goal is to find a storage place for everything. Books go back in the bookcase, pictures back on the mantel. Loose papers need to be filed, tossed, or shredded. Spring cleaning is also the perfect time to weed out all the objects that are cluttering up your home. The box is for objects you plan to donate, give to friends, or sell at a yard sale. The garbage bag is for everything else you don’t want anymore that cannot be recycled.
Spring may have sprung, but remember spring cleaning is for all seasons.